Bachelor of Science in Architecture
01 / Urban Pinball 02 / Voronoia 03 / Accordion House & Lipstick House 04 / Digital Modeling 05 / Bowtie Theater 06 / Faculty Tree House 07 / Shoebox Gallery 08 / Mini-Mies
Kevin Vickery / Year 4 Bern, Switzerland ranks consistently among cities with the highest quality of life in the world; however, one area characterized by busy streets, noisy railroad tracks, an ugly shunting yard & an awkward parking lot has become an eyesore in the otherwise picturesque town. This is not to mention a cultural center for alternative youth—the Reitschule—or a clinic that dispenses heroin to addicts, institutions which attract crowds of “undesirables.” The scenic Aare River dissects the site but creates such a deep valley that much of the area is inaccessible.
The design competition called for urban repair & universal accessibility for those with physical or visual impairments. Two group members & I proposed a path that zigzags through the site to connect otherwise disparate locations & resolve mobility barriers. The project name Urban Pinball refers to the movement of people as they ricochet from one location to another, eventually ending downhill at the Aare River. In addition, we designed various residential & recreational functions along the path in order to activate the entire area.
MASTER PLAN 01 / ROAD COVER A road cover now allows safe crossing, links low & high ground, & houses a mixed-use development.
02 / DEFINED PATH People with little eyesight can become disoriented in new, undefined spaces without tactile guides or edges to follow.
03 / BRIDGE OVER ROAD Visitors no longer dodge traffic to cross the street. A new pedestrian bridge offers stairs, ramps & an elevator.
04 / HILLSIDE STAIRS An angled staircase provides a gradual, scenic pathway to the river. Grass slopes & tiered seating allow people to relax.
05 / HILLSIDE LIFTS People in a hurry or with limited mobility can take inclined lifts on either side to any level of the hillside development.
06 / BRIDGE OVER WATER The river was a barrier for those without bathing suits or enough patience to walk 500 meters to the nearest footbridge.
PATH + PROGRAM These circulation features combine to form a path that zigzags through the site. A building complex & various recreational functions activate the path & bring visitors to the area.
URBAN REPAIR BUILDING X A mixed-use building replaces the under-used shunting yard. The complex consists of 2 intersecting forms that mediate the level difference. Upper-level student housing & offices create dialogue with the university & residential district. Lower-level hostel, cinema & new drug center speak to the Reitschule.
WISHBONE & LEVIATHAN A small park contains a fountain, benches for relaxing & undulating grass mounds for playing. Additional open space hosts temporary activities like outdoor concerts & street performaces. The path continues over the road to an observation deck that affords great views of the river.
RIVER VALLEY REPAIR LITTLE BOXES ON THE HILLSIDE Four pavilions emerge from the slope & contain a restaurant, concession stand, rental space, changing rooms, restrooms & a room for projecting movies on the screen across the river. Additionally, grassy slopes for sun-bathers & hardwood seating for movie-goers help to activate the slope.
TROLL BAR & RIVER BATHS An enigmatic structure on the water, the Troll Bar activates the river valley by offering espresso drinks during the day & alcohol at night. A footbridge connects the southern riverbank with the sunny northern bank, where public baths foster an urban relationship with the water & a screen shows movies at night.
Kevin Vickery / Year 4 Construction of a significant research complex is under way just outside of Lund, Sweden. The MAX IV radiation facility & its particle accelerator will attract many of the best scientists in the world to the small Swedish town. The Swedish firm Fojab & Norwegian firm SnĂ¸hetta have collaborated on the design of the MAX IV building itself. My design studio, consisting of international students on exchange at Lund University, was given the opportunity to conceive of the Science City that will develop around the accelerator & design its welcome center.
Lund, Sweden has developed over many centuries. During much of that time, the town grew by accretion with little concern for urban planning. Hence, streets in the oldest part of the town are somewhat disorganized, at least in comparison to those in newer cities. Although sometimes disorienting for visitors, the street web is charming & romantic. I wanted to replicate this quality in the new Science City but in a decidely futuristic way, conceiving of a master plan governed by a voronoi diagram.
EARLY EXPERIMENTATION HELIOTROPISM The form leans in different directions to provide either (1) self-shading for office spaces, which generally prefer less direct sunlight, or (2) more direct sunlight on the facades of homes & restaurants. The result is a mixed-use complex with public space along the street.
LIVE & WORK across the street.
LIVE & WORK next door.
LIVE & WORK across the hall.
OBLIQUE VIEWS over the street.
PUBLIC SPACE along the street.
STREET VIEWS into offices, not homes.
TAPERING & FOLDING The tapered geometry creates less shadow on its surroundings, provides better views of the sky from the ground & pushes wind up instead of down, where it would normally gather around entrances. Folding at the corners creates additional wind traps.
WIND gathers at entrances.
TAPERING pushes wind upward.
FOLDS catch & remove wind.
FOLDS act as structure.
URBAN ANALYSIS DENDRITIC SPACE In the Medieval part of Lund, growth by accretion meant a lack of larger organization by infrastructure, which lends complexity to smaller streets. These streets meet in unique ways and their curvatures disallow any substantial understanding of their extents or boundaries.
URBAN STRATEGY I was interested in the existing urban character of Lund, particularly the dendritic & residual spaces of Medieval Lund. Reproducing these conditions in the new site creates two centers of concentration with similar urban qualities, connected by the University.
FUTURE SCIENCE CITY RESIDENTIAL LUND RESIDUAL SPACE In this older area of the city, buildings have been designed based on very local conditions & with no concepts of city planning. The combination of many separately designed buildings causes undesigned “between” spaces, which people use in interesting ways. LUND UNIVERSITY
RESIDENTIAL LUND MEDIEVAL LUND
MASTER PLAN FRAMEWORK The Lund Link should come into the site to create a dynamic approach instead of a simple drop-off across the street. A path from Max IV to the ESS creates an additional boundary.
VORONOI ITERATIONS A voronoi diagram represents all the lines drawn equidistant from adjacent points in a distribution. The effect is a system of lines that resembles the network of dendritic streets in Medieval Lund. The residual spaces of Medieval Lund are accomplished in the new site by removing parcels from the diagram for public space.
PATH TO ESS LUND LINK
VORONOI 1 Points Along Prevailing Winds
MASSING 1 With Paths Between Parcels
VORONOI 2 Points Between Prevailing Winds
MASSING 2 With Paths Between Parcels
Voronoi 3 Results in More Consistent Air Movement
FORM The new infrastructure carves an open plaza for streetcars. On either side are streets informed by a voronoi of control points arranged to reduce the effects of coastal winds.
More Opportunities for Public Space VORONOI 3 Regular Distribution of Points
MASSING 3 With Paths Between Parcels
SCIENCE CENTER FRAMEWORK In deciding the location, it was important to choose a place with (1) access to the entry plaza, (2) a footprint large enough to house the program & (3) a courtyard to unify the complex.
FORM The final geometry emerged from concerns for environmental comfort & collective form. In his essay “Collective Form – Three Paradigm,” Fumihiko Maki states that collective form “represents groups of buildings & quasi-buildings... Collective form is, however, not a collection of unrelated, separate buildings, but of buildings that have reasons to be together.”
01. EXTRUDE voronoi footprints.
04. GLAZE façade below roof.
07. STAIRS for rooftop access.
02. CUT to reduce shadow.
05. SUBMERGE for 5 meter ceiling.
08. LAWN for recreation.
03. JOIN volumes into one.
06. RAISE exhibition platforms.
09. RAISE platforms for sitting.
MASTER PLAN & SCIENCE CENTER VORONOIA The project title Voronoia anticipates a conflict of interpretation for the proposed system. Some people will find the organization unifying and progressive—a kind of modern utop(ia). Another reading suggests a neurotic fixation—or para(noia)—on the voronoi diagram, which is arguably too present in Science City. With this in mind, the master plan prescribes a network of streets & building materials, but allows designers to fill this framework with any variety of forms. The energizing framework & liberal master plan will promote a campus of inventive architecture that is neither monotonous nor neurotic.
ACCORDION HOUSE & LIPSTICK HOUSE Kevin Vickery / Year 4
The National Interstate & Defense Act of 1956â€”proposed by automobile manufacturers & supported by Dwight Eisenhowerâ€”called for improvement of arterial roads & construction of interstate highways, inciting a period of unprecedented expansion that made undeveloped land more accessible & resulted in distinct suburban growth. While there are benefits to suburban life, city planners have come to learn the damaging effect of sprawl on the environment & public health, prompting an emergence of smart growth policies & less sparse development.
The promise of Suburbia has weakened since the 1960s. People who move there hoping to take advantage of the best qualities of urban & rural America find themselves torn between two worlds, working downtown, vacationing in the country & spending a fortune on gas in between. My Postwar Architecture & Urbanism class asked us for conceptual solutions to suburban problems. I designed a compact, modular system that accommodates changing requirements for interior (social) space or exterior (recreational) space throughout the year.
MODULE The design allows residents to control the amount of interior & exterior space on their property. A mechanical accordion joint in the house lengthens or shortens the space as desired. The lawn, constructed of panels, folds up or unfolds to respond to changes in the houseâ€™s length.
MODULE A second, less offbeat iteration accomplishes the same spatial flexibility but uses a telescoping mechanism like the one found in an expanding toy sword or a Push Pop. The name Lipstick House suggests glamour, refinement & the sliding movement in a tube of lipstick.
AGGREGATION The modules are arranged in tight blocks, each fixed on one end at the street to maintain an impression of uniformity in the neighborhood. The varied configurations, however, lend a complexity to the interior of the block that makes suburban life a little more interesting.
AGGREGATION In this iteration, a fixed ground plane provides a continuous hard surface for shared social space between the houses on a block. In both iterations, homeowners can purchase modules on two or more adjacent lots & combine them into larger interior spaces.
DIGITAL MODELING Kevin Vickery / Year 3
Models have always been particularly important in the design process & most professionals now recognize the turning face of the profession toward computer-aided modeling. Teaching computers to understand & assist the design process requires that most of the process occur within the computer; consequently, the computer is becoming the design environment. Thoughts develop upon other thoughts & decisions upon decisions; therefore, traditional design processes, which require designers to draft drawings or create physical models to
represent each decision, are inefficient. In this way the primary responsibility of a digital model is to represent the memory of a design, such that the model describes each decision in a rational process. There have been great advances in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in the last decade, but progress has slowed as programmers struggle to realize the future of these technologies. Future challenges will question how we generate complex forms, how we interact with programs in the workplace & how documents work between programs & use groups.
RHINO + GRASSHOPPER
RECONSTRUCTION OF MAISON FOLIE (NOX) A model is a language that renders information best realized in such a form. This language contains symbols that arrange in specific, meaningful ways to represent objects & concepts.
RECONSTRUCTION OF JINLING TOWER PROPOSAL (SOM) Parametric modeling allows countless geometric possibilities using a manageable number of functions or limitations called parameters. These modeling systems maintain relationships between objects & their parameters, so designers can change objects or parameters at any time because functions update in a chain reaction that changes the final outcome.
DESIGN Generative Geometry
BUILD Facade Structure
DESIGN Lofted Surface
BUILD Facade in Pieces
DESIGN Building Sections
BUILD Surfaces Unrolled
MOVE plans to correct heights.
SCALE floors as a function of height.
ROTATE floors to twist new form 90째.
LOFT floors to create facades.
MIRROR form to generate new form.
MIRROR new form to generate tower.
EXTRUDE cylinder for service core.
PLANS are unique on every floor.
DIGITAL PROJECT V1/R4 RECONSTRUCTION OF NUNOTANI HEADQUARTERS (EISENMAN ARCHITECTS) Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents an evolution in digital modeling, because it simplifies & automates steps in the drawing process. Many architects are moving away from CAD programs that only recreate traditional drawing techniques for the computer. A traditional contract for architectural service outlines a payment schedule granted for schematic design, building development & construction documentation. BIM programs like Digital Project & Revit greatly reduce the time required for producing construction documents & frees more time for earlier phases or shortens the process entirely. A
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Kevin Vickery / Year 3 Babies must learn how to crawl, walk, run, swim & drive; as people grow older, however, movement becomes so automated that even designers struggle to understand their own movement. Still, there are moments when people pay more attention to their movement. People move more carefully (1) when the path is unfamiliar or difficult, as in the case of visual or mobility impairments, (2) when they can see themselves move, as with shadows on a wall or reflections in a mirror, & (3) when people are performing for others, like at a party or on stage.
We were asked to design performance theaters that would make theater patrons as aware of their movement as the actual performers. In preparation for the design, we spent much of the semester completing exercises designed to raise our own awareness of movement. Additionally, we visited existing theaters to learn useful terminology & behind-the-scenes programmatic needs. The spatial requirements were large & the site relatively narrow, which presented us with the opportunity to challenge conventional theater arrangements.
MASSING CONCEPT As a place to see & be seen, a theater should also foster social performance for patrons. A multifunctional lobby & restaurant promote activity at all times & make the complex more viable.
PROCESS Superimposing a diagonal on the rectangular site (1) draws people into the complex from the adjacent intersection, (2) creates iconic “triangular” geometries & (3) generates tapered circulation spaces that force people to recognize their own movement, thereby encouraging attention to their own performative behavior.
01 SEPARATION Spaces of Social Performance brought together. Spaces of Artistic Performance brought together.
02 SEDUCTION Path from popular intersection informs shapes. Shapes draw public into building complex.
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
AND ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
03 SUSPENSION Walls recede on ground level. Suspense + Suspension of Disbelief.
04 SPECTACLE Roof becomes occupied green space. The public performs for those in other buildings.
PROPOSED THEATER COMPLEX FORM & FUNCTION
In the smaller â€œtriangularâ€? structure, the 1st floor functions as a lobby on performance nights & rented space at other times. A restaurant on the 2nd floor serves the public at lunchtime & theater patrons at night. The 1st floor of the larger building holds the box office & linear art gallery that performs as a secondary lobby. Nested within this space are private rooms for employees, including offices, a costume room & changing spaces. Underground are rehearsal rooms & storage. Above is the theater, contained within a floating black box. The stage is located at the longer end of the pennant & the house tapers to the back.
STEEL CONSTRUCTION EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC
The framework for these buildings consists primarily of steel I-Beams & corrugated steel panels. In the floors, corrugated deep deck panels distribute loads to steel joists & strengthen concrete flooring above. In the facade, the same panels, now painted black, are tied back to the framework via the ribbed seams of high seam tee-panels.
The assembly provides a strong language of visible materials. Outside, black steel contrasts with transparent glass. Inside, clean floors & walls contrast with exposed structure in the ceiling.
FACULTY TREE HOUSE Kevin Vickery / Year 3
Atlantaâ€™s Emory University is among the nationâ€™s leading research universities. The school is characterized by demanding academics designed for the development of individual expertise & personal values. Almost an hour outside Atlanta, a satellite campus offers many of the same academics in a much more rural atmosphere. The quiet campus, known as the Oxford College of Emory University, is positioned at the edge of a large nature preserve.
The college would like to replace a small parking lot, located next to the preserve, with a building for professors & other faculty. The building will address the public through inclusion of gardens, bocce ball courts, swimming pools, a cafe with exterior & interior seating, salon, library & public restrooms. The building will also include more private spaces like a small office, kitchen & area for food preparation, dining room, billiards & guest rooms with individual restrooms.
FACULTY TREE HOUSE + SITE* OUTSIDER Existing buildings on the campus are clearly oriented to the student quad. Since I saw the faculty clubhouse as a place of retreat from academic life for faculty and university employees, I proposed a building that turned its back on the campus & embraced the quiet nature reserve. The mass is obscured from the quad by the existing chapel & a large maple tree, adding to the sense of retreat. The roof slopes down to the entrance & up to the nature reserve to create a strong threshold & accommodate human scale in front & tree scale in back.
* Site model was built in collaboration with 3 other students.
FACULTY TREE HOUSE FACULTY JAILHOUSE
Initially the slender columns might resemble the bars of a prison cell, especially in the smaller guest rooms, and give an impression of imprisonment. The prison bars suggest a boundary that stands in contrast to the transparency of the glass; through this, some occupants will feel an uncanny discomfort, something like the emotional experience felt by a prisoner with a spectacular view from her cell. These feelings will likely encourage them to spend time by the pool or take a walk in the nature preserve. For those less fond of the outdoors, the suggested boundary, which keeps the wilderness out, might be comforting.
FACULTY TREE HOUSE FUNCTION
Visitors arrive at a patio where people enjoy coffee purchased inside at a small coffee shop. A slender volume runs the length of the building, separating the public coffee shop from semi-public space on the lower level. Within the volume are private spaces, including restrooms—adjacent to the coffee shop—an office, kitchen & mechanical room—adjacent to the open faculty space. The faculty space includes a salon, bookshelves, dining tables & billiard tables. Doors take visitors outside to the pools—one for exercise & the other for leisure—& guest rooms arranged in another slender volume.
SERVICE AREA & KITCHEN
FACULTY TREE HOUSE HOUSE NEXT TO TREES
The inclined roof plane creates a sense of compression as people enter the building & directs their attention to the adjacent nature preserve. Additionally the ground lowers toward the preserve, which helps to direct attention to the trees. In this way, the trees become as important in the design as the building itself.
HOUSE MADE OF TREES
The unevenly spaced columns in the building replicate the natural forest of trees. Additionally the roof imitates a canopy of leaves. The design is therefore a built extension of the nature preserve & the boundary between the two is blurred.
SHOEBOX GALLERY Kevin Vickery / Year 3
German artist Gerhard Richter (born 1932) is considered one of the more influential artists working today. He is foremost a painter, although over his career he has produced works in various media & at multiple scales. The works range from large abstractions to realistic paintings of landscapes to manipulated images of photographic subjects. His installation peices combine elements of sculpture & architecture, often employing sheets of glass, mirror or plastic.
The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is in possession of five key works by Richter. An anonymous benefactor & private collector of his works has negotiated with the High Museum to have these five works relocated to a new building she has commissioned nearby. The design will showcase the five pieces & provide additional exhibition space for rotating shows. She has requested the inclusion of garden space that is equal to half of the area of the building site.
SHOEBOX GALLERY PLAN 1 A
FUNCTION Separation of primary & support spaces.
RECEIVES DIRECT LIGHT FROM SOUTH
DIFFUSED LIGHT FROM NORTH
LIGHT Galleries get diffused light for easy viewing.
PLAN 2 A
TRANSITORY SPACE separates galleries from support spaces.
B LEVEL 2
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR Half of plans for galleries, half for gardens.
SHOEBOX GALLERY SECTION AA
VISUAL CONNECTION between galleries & garden.
EQUAL SPACING OF DOORS obscures true size of rooms.
WINDOW HEIGHT equals height of walls below.
STRUCTURAL MULLIONS 8-ft section vs. 5-ft plan grids.
SLOPED ROOF removes rain between bldgs.
LEVEL PARAPET conceals slope of roof.
SHOEBOX GALLERY RICHTER GALLERY & GARDEN To complement the artwork I imagined simple spaces & employed understated materials. The concrete walls are mostly solid in color—much like the paintings themselves—but offer subtle tonal variations that make the concrete interesting—also like the paintings. These paintings & hardwood flooring bring color to the otherwise gray spaces, while conforming to the decidedly natural material pallet. Outside of the Richter Gallery, an idealized garden consists of 3 square basins, one holding water, another holding grass & the third holding stones.
MINI-MIES (WELCOME CENTER) Kevin Vickery / Year 2
German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the most central figures in the study of modern architectural history & continues to inspire students & architects long after his death. Likely his most celebrated design, the Farnsworth House consists of a large open room, enclosed in glass on four sides & by white planes above & below. It is raised above the ground & a third plane mediates the difference. The design is a testament to minimalism & the International Style.
To increase visitation to the Farnsworth House, the National Register of Historic Places has commissioned an addition that will become a welcome center for guests. The addition will include a desk providing historical information, an area for the sale of merchandise, male & female restrooms & a small office space. The addition must have a physical connection to the house, can be no larger than a fourth of the house volume & should speak to the house in form & function.
GENERATIVE PLAN DIAGRAMS
3 PRIMARY THRESHOLDS Stairs & front door allow transitions.
GESTURED MOVEMENT Thresholds act as movement nodes.
TRANSITORY SPACE Patterns reveal dominant pathway.
AXES OF LARGER PLANE determine placement of casework.
AXES OF SMALLER PLANE determine placement of I-beams.
STATIC SPACE Path reveals distinct static spaces.
DOMINANT PATH separates static spaces.
ALIGNMENT OF DOORS Entrance aligns with interior doors.
AXES OF WHOLE determine placement of I-beams.
STAGGERED PLAN allows expanded views.
RADIAL ALIGNMENT reveals latent grid with 3/4 ratio in plan.
LINEAR ALIGNMENT reveals latent grid with 2/15 ratio in elevation.
ENCLOSURE vs. EXPOSURE privacy vs. publicity
WELCOME CENTER FORM & PROGRAM
During the day, the glass-lined pavilion provides information services & a small gift shop. People may reserve the pavilion as nighttime event space; during these nights, the private office on the other side of the walkway provides storage until morning. Next to the office are male & female restrooms. Between the two enclosed forms, a rain cover floats above the breezeway to protect people from rain & join the otherwise separate spaces into one group. The design means to imitate conditions present in the Farnsworth Houseâ€”dominant pathway, staggered arrangement & contrast between publicity & privacy.
WELCOME CENTER + FARNSWORTH HOUSE* SEQUENCE OF ELEMENTS
The four distinct spaces of the houseâ€”uncovered patio, covered patio, exposed interior, enclosed interiorâ€”follow a sequence characterized by the addition of formal elements. A lonely floor plate (uncovered patio) becomes a floor & roof plate (covered patio). Glass walls (exposed interior) & wooden partitions (enclosed interior) come next. Naturally, each added formal element provides a greater degree of privacy in that space. The proposed addition essentially mirrors this additive sequence, resulting in a meeting point of public spaces in the middle & separation of private spaces.
* Farnsworth House model was built by another student.